Bugatti Type 57S Competition Coupe Aerolithe recreation, 1935Courtesy of Christopher Ohrstrom, Joe Wiecha
This concept car, with a body made of lightweight magnesium, made a single appearance at the 1935 Earl’s Court Motor Show in the U.K. and was taken on one road test a year after the show. It was never manufactured, and experts believe that its metal was probably used during WWII for military purposes. A brand-new model, constructed by Canada’s Guild of Automotive Restorers from a few black-and-white photos and rough blueprints, used magnesium like the original even though the material is brittle—not to mention, flammable.
Lancia (Bertone) Stratos HF Zero, 1970Courtesy XJ Wang Colection, Michael Furman
First shown at the Turin Motor Show in 1970, it’s said that this race car’s designers were initially driven by answering the question: “How low a car can we build?” At its highest point, the Zero stands just 33 inches off the ground, and both driver and passenger enter the car via a flip-up windscreen. This concept car cost around $65,000 to construct, which would be $450,000 in 2010 dollars. A fully-functioning model was completely restored in 2000.